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Mains Answer Writing

28-March-2024

Q1) Identify the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to poverty reduction. Do you think the measures taken by the government for achieving the same have been effective?

(250 Words/15 Marks)

ANSWER

SDGs (UNDP) are interlinked objectives that aim to ensure a more sustainable and inclusive future for all. Though all 17 SDGs will aid in reducing the incidence of poverty, goals with direct bearing on poverty reduction can be seen as:

  1. SDG 1 explicitly aims at ending poverty in all its forms and manifestations.
  2. SDG 2 (zero hunger) aimed at achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture has direct consequence on limiting the ill-effects of poverty in the form of undernourishment, stunting, wasting, child mortality etc.
  3. The goal of healthy lives and well-being for all in all ages as envisaged by SDG3 will reduce OOPE, and check the vicious cycle of poverty; SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) will check incidence of diseases, thereby circumscribing the manifestations of poverty.
  4. Inclusion and equity in access to education (SDG4) will act as an antidote to intergenerational poverty; SDG 8 (decent work/economic growth) will augment family income; parallelly, SDG 10 has the express objective of reducing inequalities.
  5. SDG 5 associated with gender equality and empowerment of women will ensure developmental indicators in PWLM, improved FLFPR, and also enhanced income for families.
  6. SDG 16 (access to justice and inclusion institutions) can make governance paradigm more inclusive and citizen centric.

 

The effectiveness of government measures for reducing poverty can be assessed from:

Effective

Not-effective

1. Government measures have worked to strengthen the four pillars of food security.

 

E.g., NFSA, 2013; Targeted Public

Distribution System (TPDS); PMGKAY

during pandemic etc.

2. Strengthening the ecosystem for financial inclusion.

 

E.g., JAM trinity.

3. Improving educational outcomes.

 

E.g., RTE Act; ATLs; NEP 2020; PM-POSHAN.

4. Extending health and well-being to the last mile.

E.G., PMMVY; JSY; AYUSHMAN JAY etc.

5. Equitable and inclusive

development/growth.

 

E.g., affirmative action (reservation in jobs/legislature) for SC/ST, OBC etc; nudge initiatives in Beti Bachao Beti Padhao; reservation for women in PRIs etc.

6. Augmenting access to justice.

E.g., SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989; POSH Act, 2013.

1. Poor indicators wrt food and nutritional security.

 

E.g., 107/121 rank of India in GHI,

2022.

2. Rising disparity between haves and have nots in India.

E.g., as per a report, richest 1% owns 40% of wealth while bottom half owns just 3% of the wealth.

3. Learning poverty and learning regression continue to thrive.

E.g., poor learning outcomes shown by ASER reports; high unemployability of graduates etc.

4. High OOPE in India.

E.g., as per WHO report, high OOPE is impoverishing 55 million Indians annually.

5. Caste/class based disabilities and violence still thrive.

E.g., recent incident in Siddhi district of MP; low developmental indicators

in SC/STs etc.

The government measures for reduction of poverty can be made more effective by:

  1. Focus on outcomes rather than output.

E.g., checking the issues of over-nutrition, awareness, protein/iron deficiency, hygiene/sanitation etc., to reduce food insecurity.

  1. Periodic review and course correction.

E.g., social audits of schemes.

  1. Instead of one size fit all approach, regional/local needs and aspirations should be prioritised.

E.g., mapping of community-based disease burden.

  1. Increase public expenditure on welfare programmes.

E.g., low public expenditure on health and education limits the outcome in these fields.

  1. Measures to make implementation process more inclusive, transparent, and accountable.

E.g., involving PRIs, CSOs in developmental process.

Leveraging technological tools, evidence-based policy making, and a bottom-up approach is an imperative to check the multi-headed hydra that is poverty.

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